A/V Room









Darkness Falls (15)

Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Writers and filmmakers commentaries; 7 deleted scenes. Making of featurette; 'The Legend of Matilda Dixon' featurette; Storyboard comparisons; Theatrical trailer.

THE Tooth Fairy has been getting some bad press of late, in Hollywood terms, for having been vilified in last year’s Hannibal Lecter outing, Red Dragon, the name has now been foisted upon the demon in horror flick, Darkness Falls.

As legend would have it, the sleepy town of Darkness Falls has been haunted by the vengeful ghost of Matilda Dixon for the past 150 years, ever since she was unjustly accused of killing two children and slaughtered by an angry mob.

Hence, the kindly Matilda, who used to exchange money for an unwanted tooth from the children of the town, is now hovering in the darkness, just waiting to pounce on anyone who sees her in the dark.

One such hapless ‘victim’ was Chaney Kley’s Kyle, who managed to escape Matilda’s clutches, only to watch his mother butchered instead, and who has been plagued by guilt ever since.

Forced into hiding by a town which has turned its back on him, Kyle is forced to confront his demons when his childhood sweetheart, Caitlin (Emma Caulfield), asks for his help when her nine-year-old brother, Michael (Lee Cormie), begins to suffer the same type of nightmares that drove Kyle to the brink of madness.

Darkness Falls is the type of scream-fest that was made for late nights in the cinema after a few beers - when the woeful lack of logic and dubious chills won’t appear so obvious.

Aside from a genuinely creepy opening sequence, which plays up a child’s fear of the dark and peering out of the window, there is nothing of any note for hardened horror fans to sink their teeth into, rendering it a fairly toothless affair.

Rather like watching one of the Halloween or Friday the 13th sequels, there is a certain amount of fun to be had in trying to guess who will die next (and how), but the longer proceedings drag on, the more ludicrous things become, culminating in the inevitable race against time scenario as the light fades and, well, total darkness falls.

Things wouldn’t seem quite so inept had the writers strived a little harder to fill in the gaping plot holes (for a town living in fear of darkness, there does appear to be a chronic lack of lighting), while the performers fail to generate anything in the way of emotion, seeming content merely to run around screaming in a bid to generate so-called tension.

What chills there are come from the clever use of sound effects which, rather like scratching your fingernails along a blackboard, are genuinely unnerving, but poor old Matilda, herself, simply isn’t terrifying enough once she emerges from the shadows.

At 85 minutes, the film is, thankfully, quite short, but, overall, it is more likely to have people dozing off while watching it, rather than providing any sleepless nights afterwards.



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